- OFID commemorates Universal Children's Day
OFID commemorates Universal Children's Day
November 20, 2014. Universal Children’s Day was established by the UN in 1954 to highlight the fact that every child is an important and valued member of society. It’s a day that recognizes that children all around the world have the right to health, safety, education and respect. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon's message for 2014
For nearly 40 years, OFID has been working to improve the lives of children and their families in developing countries worldwide and help them meet their basic needs.
For every child to realize full potential, access to education is imperative. With a decent education, people have improved life chances, including better health and earning capacity, as well as the ability to engage actively in the community.
Recognizing the importance of education, OFID supports projects and programs to strengthen the education sectors - from basic to university level - in its partner countries. For instance, in 2014 OFID:
As of December 31, 2013, US$826.5m (5%) of OFID’s total commitments had been channeled to education-related initiatives.
An estimated 1.4 billion people live without electricity, a constraint that compromises productivity and income generation, as well as healthcare delivery, learning, personal safety and many other aspects of daily life. Some 2.7 billion people rely on traditional biomass for heating and cooking. This practice exposes them to smoke that causes lung disease and the death of nearly two million people a year, most of them women and children. In addition, the burden of collecting firewood or fetching water falls upon the children, thus preventing them from attending school.
OFID's interventions include support to projects and programs (concessional loans and grants) that utilize both traditional and renewable energy sources.
OFID energy-related grants extended in 2014 include, among others:
As of December 31, 2013, energy operations accounted for almost US$3.3bn, or 21%, of OFID’s cumulative commitments.
In many parts of the world the health and wellbeing of infants and children is highly dependent on both the quality and availability of water. Despite being preventable, water-related illness remains one of the most significant child health problems worldwide. Today 2.5 billion people, one billion of them children, live without even the most basic sanitation services.
To help reverse this situation, in 2014 OFID approved loans totaling US$73m to Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Zambia, Sao Tome and Principe and Senegal help provide safe sanitation and drinking water to thousands of families.
In addition, a US$400,000 grant was extended to install water kiosks and treatment machines in impoverished, rural regions in Senegal. The program will provide around 125,000 people with safe drinking water
On a cumulative basis, OFID’s contribution to the water supply and sanitation sector reached US$917.6m as of year-end 2013, representing 6% of total commitments.
Well-functioning health systems are integral to social and economic growth. When disease is unchecked and people unable to access primary care, the consequences for society are grave. Productivity falls—compromising household incomes and food security—children miss school, and healthcare provision becomes a growing burden on government budgets.
In 2014, OFID approved a US$13.15m loan to Malawi to construct a cancer treatment center and US$7m to Congo DR to rehabilitate a hospital in Kinshasa. Approved grants include:
As of December 31, 2013, OFID’s cumulative contribution to the health sector stood at US$671.7m.